Happy Anniversary, AdventurousKate.com!
One year ago today, I made my first post on AdventurousKate.com. And here we are, celebrating our first anniversary!
Normally, this is where the blogger would say, “I had no idea it would get this big.” Well…to be frank, growing this big was precisely my intention! I gave myself no other option.
But I hadn’t expected that I would be celebrating this blog’s one-year anniversary in the beach party town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, with a group of jovial English and Dutch guys!
One year ago today, I was planning on moving to New York City with my sister. I had been researching Brooklyn apartments on Craigslist and trying to find the perfect neighborhood for us. It was also my first day at a new job that, in time, would become my personal idea of hell on Earth.
And that horrible job was what gave me the final push to plan this trip.
I’m so happy to be where I am today.
I’m thrilled with how the site has grown. But the thing that makes me happiest is that I’ve grown a large base beyond travel bloggers. Don’t get me wrong — travel bloggers are the bread and butter of a travel blogger’s audience, and they’re also the most vocal in the comments.
But you will never grow your travel blog unless you expand far beyond the base of travel bloggers.
I definitely have my own base — while my readers cross all lines, the site particularly resonates with women of all ages who are either solo travelers or dream of traveling the world. These women, who range from teenagers to octogenarians, are always planning the next adventure.
I especially love the community I’ve built on my Facebook page! I love talking with everyone and sharing ideas, suggestions and stories. (The only problem is that Facebook is mostly inaccessible here in Vietnam! I’ll be back soon, everyone!!)
In the past year, the site has grown to more than 600 RSS subscribers, more than 700 Facebook fans, and more than 3,000 Twitter followers.
I’m going to keep traffic under wraps, unless you’re interested in advertising, but I’m very pleased with how much growth I’ve seen in the past year!
Here are some of my best posts in the past year:
Adventurous Kate Goes to a Ping Pong Show: One of my most popular posts, most shared posts, and most talked-about posts. I think it’s one of my funniest and best-written ones, too!
July 4th Boston Guide: July 4th Fireworks and Boston Pops Concert: My big SEO success story. I knew it would do well, but I had no idea HOW well until I found out I ranked #1 for “boston fireworks time”, drawing thousands of visits on the fourth of July!
Koh Lanta is Paradise — It’s still one of my favorite places in Southeast Asia, and it’s also one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. This island is an amazing place.
I’ve Officially Become a Hippie — You loved this post about how I acquiesced, swapping my clothes for the harem pants and the Beerlao t-shirt.
How NOT To Go Skinny-Dipping — The title speaks for itself. A story from Sihanoukville.
Top 5 Celebrity Hangouts in Las Vegas: Another big SEO success, and if there’s any topic on which I’m an expert, it’s Las Vegas celebrities and nightlife!
My Next Adventure: The Asia Jaunt! After dropping hints for months, I officially “come out” as a long-term traveler and announce my plans to the world.
My Life as a German Movie Star: I somehow get roped into being an extra in a really bad German film shot in Ao Nang, Thailand. Hilarity ensues.
How to Survive Your First Week on the Road: Advice that is valuable to anyone planning a long-term trip.
Never Compromise Your Travel Ideals: If a boyfriend forbids you to travel, GET RID OF HIM. NOW.
Things Nobody Tells You About Angkor Wat: Some must-heed advice for all those who may visit Angkor in the future.
Tips for Traveling with Curly Hair: My fellow curly-haired girls related to this piece well!
Feast On Your Life: I share a poem that every traveler should read.
Ask Kate Anything! My first Q&A session.
What Means the Most to Me
I’d like to share an excerpt from an email I recently received from a reader:
I am a 42 year old stay-at-home mom. I have three boys ages 15, 19 & 20 and two girls ages 14 & 16. I can honestly say, my hopes for them are the same kind of spirited adventures, quest for life changing experiences and growing that you are doing right now. I must tell you that the post you did before you left about your parents hesitations with you traveling and not wanting you to go, nearly broke my heart, and I almost thought you were going to back out. I am SO GLAD you did not. It probably would have given you a lifetime of regret.
I get so happy when I see a new post from “Adventurous Kate” in my inbox! It seriously makes my day! And then that evening, I share it with my husband and kids and we will talk about it for an enormous amount of time, and it leads to discussions of THEM taking a leap and trying new things, and planning things out but also being flexible, etc. (and yes- I even shared your experience with ping pong.)
I could go on and on, but I’m sure your already thinking I am a loon, so I won’t. I will just close by saying if you were MY daughter, I would be SOOO proud of what you are doing. Every last bit of it. This will be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself, your future mate and future children if you have them. I am envious to say the least.
I have no words to describe how touched I was by that message.
That sums up exactly why I write this blog.
The Next Steps
I feel like I need to have tangible goals for the next year — something besides “grow bigger.”
Here it is: by the time this blog is celebrating its second anniversary, I’d like to triple everything. Triple the traffic, subscribers, fans on social media networks.
I’d also like to write and release my first ebook.
I’d like to start a newsletter.
I’d like to earn $1,000 per month — enough to live full-time in Southeast Asia.
Professionally, I’d like to find five new income streams, whether they be related to this site or not.
To the Travel Blogging Community
I love you guys, and I’m happy I was able to meet so many of you this year, even without attending TBEX!
Thank you for your advice, thank you for your collaboration, and thank you for your friendship. Becoming part of this community has meant so much to me.
A special acknowledgement to those I met this past year:
In New York: Monica from A Pair of Panties and Boxers
In Bangkok: Pam from Spunky Girl Monologues, Backpacking Matt, Laura from A Wandering Sole, Colin and Tracy from Our Travel Lifestyle, Joel from Freedonia Post, Nathan and Sofia from As We Travel, Mike from Art of Backpacking, Stephanie from Twenty-Something Travel
In Chiang Mai: Dan from Canvas of Light, Bubba and A from Got Passport, Bessie and Kyle from On Our Own Path, Christine from Almost Fearless, Sally from Unbrave Girl, Ryan from Pause the Moment, Rob from Stop Having a Boring Life
To My Readers
Thank you so much.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for taking the time to comment on a post, to share a post on Facebook or retweet it.
Thank you for your advice, your emails, and your generous offers to stay with you in your homes around the world.
Thank you for suggesting this blog to your friends and family.
And I never forget for one moment that without you, I’m nothing.
You guys are the best, and I am so happy you’ve made this site part of your lives. I hope to be celebrating with all of you one year from now!